Government of Alberta Doubles Down on Plan for More Expensive New Policing Model

·3 min read

Public opinion survey reveals high opposition for transition, strong support for Alberta RCMP Members

EDMONTON, AB, Aug. 10, 2022 /CNW/ - Newly released research conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights for the National Police Federation confirms, once again, that the majority of Albertans do not want a new provincial police service in addition to other key findings consistent with four previous waves of research:

National Police Federation Logo (CNW Group/National Police Federation)
National Police Federation Logo (CNW Group/National Police Federation)
  • 84% want to retain the Alberta RCMP outright or with improvements.

  • Satisfaction with the Alberta RCMP remains very high across all regions and residents with 80% of Albertans in RCMP-served areas saying they are satisfied or very satisfied with RCMP policing.

  • 90% of Albertans continue to want to see a detailed accounting before any decision is made.

  • 51% of UCP voters feel that establishing Alberta's own police force and replacing the Alberta RCMP would "not help at all" in improving Alberta's place in Canada, whereas only 1/3 feel it would be beneficial and 15% say they don't know.

Last week, the Government of Alberta launched a website titled the Future of Policing in Alberta that aims to show Albertans what the future of provincial policing may look like under their proposed Alberta Provincial Police Service.

On it, the government states it has committed to the more expensive of two policing models previously proposed, if this transition moves ahead. The proposed model would cost $759 million, compared to $595 million for the current RCMP model, a 27.5% increase in taxpayer-paid policing costs.

In addition to important discrepancies and outright errors on the new website, also concerning is the following claim: 'Alberta's government firmly believes that establishing an Alberta provincial police service is not a question of if, but when' even as Government claims to be consulting with taxpayers. Despite repeated promises to do so, Government has not directly or broadly consulted with Albertans on this proposal.

"It's disappointing, but perhaps not surprising, that the Government of Alberta has chosen to release this website in the middle of summer and in the absence of a clear, future Premier," said Kevin Halwa, Prairie Region Director for the National Police Federation. "They've continued to promote a transition away from the Alberta RCMP and into an expensive provincial police service that only a fringe portion of UCP members seem to want, which is misleading because it doesn't appear to be in the public interest."

Unfortunately, this is not the first time the Government of Alberta has taken to cutting corners to push for this proposed transition. In mid-June, we called out Justice Minister and Solicitor General Tyler Shandro for misleading Albertans on the details of what inspired a new provincial police service and what it might look like.

"It's bad enough that Albertans are not receiving transparent or consistent communications from their government leaders on this issue," said Jeff McGowan, Prairie Region Director for the National Police Federation. "Being told that the government is also now picking the most expensive option is flat out insulting to taxpayers."

A copy of our latest polling results is available here: Pollara Strategic Insights August 2022

About the National Police Federation:

The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 RCMP Members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada; the second largest in North America and is the first independent national association to represent RCMP Members.

The NPF is focused on improving public safety in Canada by focusing on increasing resources, equipment, training, and other supports for our Members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and supports for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.

For more information: https://npf-fpn.com/ and KeepAlbertaRCMP.ca

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SOURCE National Police Federation

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